Mission and Vision

The goal of the Help Ghana Foundation is to enhance the living conditions of vulnerable groups within Ghanaian society. To achieve this, the foundation provides support for projects in the areas of healthcare, education, and income-generating initiatives. The foundation is dedicated to fostering economic and social independence among its beneficiaries, with a focus on identifying projects driven by the local population. Our primary target group comprises women and girls, recognizing that women in Ghana typically serve as the primary caretakers of households and children.

Projects are submitted to the Help Ghana Foundation through the initiative of local individuals in Ghana. These requests are often endorsed by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or well-established community figures who are recognized as relevant community agents. This collaborative approach ensures that the proposed projects are aligned with the needs and priorities of the local communities, enhancing the effectiveness and sustainability of our support initiatives.

The Help Ghana Foundation requires that all projects receive support from the local community they are intended for. These communities actively contribute through labor, land, and/or raw materials. In line with our commitment to inclusivity, the foundation exclusively supports local organizations that embrace people of all religions, genders, social statuses, and backgrounds, ensuring a broad and diverse approach to community development.

The Help Ghana Foundation exclusively approves small-scale projects with a maximum budget of €2,000. This approach enables us to assist multiple communities each year with the generous support of our donors and sponsors. Whenever feasible, funds are utilized to procure all necessary materials and products within Ghana, contributing to the growth of local small enterprises. This ensures that donations not only have a direct impact on the intended projects but also foster economic development within the local communities we aim to support.

To learn more about the vision of the Help Ghana Foundation please have a look at our policy plan.

History

The Help Ghana Foundation was founded in 1983 by Joke Addotey-Van Heeswijk. Her frequent visits to Ghana with her Ghanaian husband exposed her to the daily challenges faced by the underprivileged in the country. Over the subsequent years, she successfully mobilized funds for a significant number of projects, demonstrating a sustained commitment to improving the lives of those in need within Ghanaian communities.

As Joke decided to step down after dedicating most of her life to this work, positions on the board were assumed by former volunteers with extensive experience in development work, both in Ghana and other countries. This strategic transition ensures that the foundation benefits from ample know-how and experience, allowing us to carry out our activities with integrity. Additionally, we have established a reliable network of local representatives and experts who play an advisory role and regularly monitor the progress of our projects.

The Help Ghana Foundation is able to support multiple projects in Ghana each year, thanks to the generous contributions of numerous individual donors. In addition to these private supporters, the foundation also receives financial backing from various foundations, organizations, and companies who share our commitment to making a positive impact in Ghanaian communities.

The Help Ghana Foundation owes its existence and success to the unwavering support of all our donors, including individual contributors, foundations, organizations, and companies. Without their generous support, the foundation would not be able to fulfill its mission, and many individuals in Ghana might have been deprived of essential basic needs. The board of Help Ghana expresses heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported the foundation in any capacity. Your contributions make a meaningful and lasting difference in the lives of those we aim to assist. Thank you.

In 2023, the Help Ghana Foundation received contact from MDK Flowers & Greens, a company specializing in the cultivation and marketing of both large and small houseplants. The company’s headquarters are located in the Netherlands, with a branch in Ghana. In recent years, MDK has utilized funding and guidance to contribute to the construction of a local secundary school in Ghana, known as the MDK project. Given their commitment to supporting additional projects in Ghana and their alignment with the vision and methodologies of the Help Ghana Foundation, a collaboration was initiated following the standard procedures of our foundation.

The Board

The board of the Help Ghana Foundation currently consists of five members, all of whom have either lived and worked in Ghana as volunteers or possess relevant work experience in Africa.

Current board members:

  • Chairman: Iede Koffeman, Trainer/coach team development & change management
  • Vice-chairman: Hans de Bekker, Anthropologist Researcher at InHolland University, in memoriam
  • Secretary & Bursar: Viola Stoppels, Owner Springstaff Recruitment Services
  • Project coordinator: Ellen Vianen: Senior Behavioural expert PPO Rotterdam
  • Webmaster: Bilge Mühüdaroğlu, Photography & 3D designer

  • Contact person MDK: Jos Duijvesteijn

Our foundation collaborates closely with our Ghanaian contacts, Emmanuel Kwesi Nkrumah in Adawso, and Kingsley Kwame Safo, whom we have known for over fifteen years. They provide essential guidance on cultural and local matters and regularly visit our projects to offer support and insight.

The board meets approximately every six weeks, either through online meetings or at the residence of one of the board members. Our objective is to ensure that at least every other year, two board members travel to Ghana to connect with our contacts and personally visit the project sites.

Because the board members are doing their work voluntarily and pay for all their own travel expenses and other costs, more than 95% of the collected funds is available to the projects in Ghana.

Please feel free to contact the Board if you would like more information on the Help Ghana Foundation, our activities, sponsoring, projects and/or life in Ghana in general.

The Board of the Help Ghana Foundation 2022

General procedure

When an application is submitted to Help Ghana, the Board checks whether the project meets the criteria set by the foundation. Subsequently, the applicants are sent a questionnaire with questions about the purpose, size, their own contribution, possible co-financiers, references from the (local) government agencies, and a detailed budget. Our local contact person then contacts and/or visits the project to assess the application. Based on this information, the Board decides whether a project will be supported.

Our Ghanaian contact person discusses planning and responsibilities with the local organization in advance, after which a cooperation agreement is signed. During the implementation, our contact person visits the project to discuss progress and possible bottlenecks. In addition, halfway through the execution of the project and after completion the Board will receive a report from both the project leaders and our contact person, which is discussed in the board meeting.

Accountability

The Help Ghana Foundation has an official ANBI (Public Benefit Organisation) status for the tax authorities. To keep our administrative costs as low as possible, we have decided not to opt for a CBF quality mark. This way we keep the percentage of the donation money that benefits the projects in Ghana as high as possible.

The Help Ghana board consists of volunteers who carry out their work unpaid. There is therefore no remuneration structure. Projects in Ghana are visited whenever possible by a delegation of at least two board members traveling to Ghana every other year, again at their own expense.

The progress of the projects is published via the website and various social media. Individual reports are made to project sponsors. For institutional sponsors (e.g. Wilde Ganzen) we follow procedures established by them.

Feedback to donors about spending is done via an annual newsletter. It briefly describes the progress of the projects, possibly with photos. Our local contact person visits the projects and ensures that the feedback meets the information need.

A financial annual review is published yearly. The expenditure per project is available on request. The foundation’s tax number is 816170368.

To learn more about the vision of the Help Ghana Foundation you can have a look at our policy plan.